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Bosh’s double-double helps key Heat’s win over Lakers

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There are times when the Miami Heat’s Big Three sort of have the look of a Big 2 1/2 or so with Chris Bosh being outshone by his teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Christmas Day, however, was not one of those times.

Bosh shared game-high scoring honors with Wade with each scoring 23 points in the Heat’s 101-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Wednesday’s nationally televised affair. James finished with 19, more than half the total (10) coming in the first quarter.

Bosh also had a team-high 11 rebounds, converting three of his four at the offensive end into follow-up baskets. After missing his first six attempts, he finished by making nine of his last 12 shots from the floor, and he converted five of his six opportunities at the free throw line. He also had a steal.

While James and Wade were combining to put on a highly entertaining show with Wade’s passes leading to fast-break dunks by James, Bosh in effect was doing a lot of the grunt work to help keep the inspired Lakers at bay.

All of his points and all but one of his rebounds came in about 15 minutes of play over the second and third quarters.

He had 13 points and five rebounds in the second quarter when the Heat, who trailed by six points after one period, outscored the Lakers 30-19 in the second for a 51-46 lead at the halftime break.

With Chris Andersen, who provides muscle for the Heat inside coming off the bench, sitting out the second half with a stiff back, Bosh’s work in the third quarter -- 10 points and five more rebounds -- helped offset some of the effect of the Lakers’ 3-point barrage.

The Lakers hit five of their nine attempts from beyond the arc in the period to help close a 51-46 halftime deficit down to two points, 76-74, entering the final quarter.

The Lakers would take a brief lead at 81-79, but the Heat would regain momentum after coming up with a key stop with the scored tied at 81.

Thus the Heat got their four-game western road swing off to a successful start, but the big challenge is yet to come. They are at Sacramento to take on the Kings on Friday, then must move on to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers the next night.

The Trail Blazers are 23-5 going into their Thursday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Heat’s road trip ends at Denver on Monday night.

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